Monday, March 22, 2010

10,000 Steps A Day

The Hardin Hospital got a grant to get people to lose weight in a healthy manner, so the hospital employees and county employees are in a six week contest to see who can get 10, 000 steps a day for five days a week and also lose 5% of their body weight. Today is the official kickoff on the contest. I'm wearing my pedometer. The winning group gets a Wii exercise system, flat screen tv and a Schwinn airdyne bike. The other group will get a Wii exercise system and flat screen tv. Can't really lose.

We signed up last Friday. That wasn't fun. First we had to sign a waiver, yes there are risks in exercising and losing weight. Then we were measured for bone density and then our blood pressures were taken. The nurse told me that my bottom number was high and she was concerned. I have never had high blood pressure in my life, except when Jennifer was born. She used the old cuff and stethoscope reading. She took it right over the sleeve of my shirt and of course people were talking. I had just had my blood pressure taken a couple weeks ago for the health fair and it was well within the normal ranges. She isn't too worried about it, but she made a note to watch for me at the end. The next step was to get weighed. Not my favorite thing to do stepping on scales. Scales are made in hell. I really hate their scale, it weighed me 7 pounds heavier than the one at home. Of course this is the weight that I'm being charted on. Based on my height and weight, they got my BMI.

They had 4 different sign up stations for the employees and the courthouse one was on Friday morning. The first 25 people who signed up at each station got a free pedometer. We also got a packet with all the information and a chart to keep track of our steps. There is even a conversion chart for other activities. My swimming alone gets me 5,000 steps a day. I get credit for 189 steps a minute and I swim for 30 minutes.

I wore my pedometer all weekend, just to get used to it and see how well I can do. Getting 10,000 steps in won't be too hard, but will have to make a concentrated effort on the weekends. Too much sitting around at home and not moving. It's not so hard at work, I just have to get up and walk down the hall every once in a while.

This morning I didn't swim, but got on the elliptical for 40 minutes and I got over half my steps in already. I will go back to exercise after work, so no problem getting my 10,000 today. I also plan on walking to work. It is exactly one mile from my back door to my desk and that is about 2,000 steps one way.

No money this time, but it is all in fun. Keeping my fingers crossed the the rest of the county employees can pull their weight in this. Some who signed up are not active people.

The contest officially ends on April 30.

Monday, March 15, 2010

St Patrick's Day Parade

Saturday Gary and I rode in the St. Patrick's Day Parade in Billings with the Patriot Guard Riders. It was alot of fun and we would like to make this an annual event along with other events we want to make annually.

Early Saturday morning we again loaded the bike onto the trailer. Now that we know how to thread those stupid ratchet straps it was a snap. Again we unloaded at the dealership and left our trailer and truck there. We ate breakfast at the Muzzleloader Cafe, not knowing how long this will be and when we would get a chance to eat again.

Our friends Pat & Sandi Breckenridge were there (former Hardin residents), so we joined them for breakfast. We followed them to the staging area, due to all the construction going on in downtown Billings, they knew the secrets ways to the courthouse parking lot. Many of our biker friends were there so we got to catch up on news. We were invited to a party later on in the day at some other friends house. She gave us the address, but we had no clue where it was, so we just went with some other friends.

The weather was nice for a parade, not too hot and not too cold. The only problem was that the people running the staging for the parade had our group move three times. We ended up being where we first started for lining up the parade. Sure alot of people lined up to watch the parade. Many had their bikes decorated and a bunch wore goofy hats. We bought some green baseball caps to wear. My mission now is to find some St. Patty's decorations for next year. I did post the photos on my picasa site and also on my facebook.

We ate lunch with the group at a nice little Mexican restaurant. They sure weren't ready for us, they were told that about 20 people would be there, when in fact 40 of us showed up. It was very good food and they did work very hard to accomodate us, not to mention working the regular cafe part. The two little waitresses sure were running. Those two young women were amazed at the tip money that was piled up on the tables. After lunch we went back to the dealership to load the bike on the trailer. We were able to leave our rig at friend's house and we rode with them to the party. Good thing, we would have never found the party house on our own. Now that we know where our hosts live, we will find it again.

There were about 22 of us for the St. Patrick's Day feast. She fixed corned beef and cabbage, mashed potatoes, ham, soda bread. Had a variety of desserts. The only requirement was that we had to bring our own drinks. It was a good time. All the guys were playing pool and the women were upstairs chatting about hair extensions, butt cracks and boobs.

We didn't get home until 10:00 that night. Not too bad for only going to be gone for the morning. After all we just went to Billings to ride in the parade.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Patriot Guard Mission

Last Saturday we participated in the Patriot Guard Riders mission in Billings for a young soldier killed in the line of duty.

We had to go to Billings anyway to take the bike for it's annual service. We were hoping that it would be done before we had to do the mission.

Last December, we bought a flat bed trailer for the bike, just for occasions like this, when it's too cold to ride.

Saturday morning arrived and we hooked the trailer up to the pickup without any problems. Gary got ready to ride the bike onto the trailer and he got stuck. Here he was stuck on the ramp. We didn't figure on the pipes hitting the ground. He couldn't go forward or backward. I had to jump into the pickup and drive forward to get him lowered. Once we got on the grass, it was easy to load the bike on the trailer. Not so much on the cement. Now it was time to use our ratchet straps that he bought. Why would we get these out earlier to figure out how they work, no those straps are so easy. Right. The kind we bought come in two sections. All the instructions said was to hook one to the trailer and one to the object then thread through. No problem, only no instructions how we are supposed to thread them. Well we managed to get the bike strapped down.

On the road we went, we made it to Billings in plenty of time to get to the dealership and unload. Again, while unloading the bike got stuck and I had to drive forward. We were so lucky that no employees were watching this fiasco. Got the bike checked in. Some of the guys were giving Gary a bad time about not riding the bike and having me follow. They forget we have to come from Hardin and it was too cold in the morning. It was going to take at least 6 hours for the service to get done.

We were able to drop the trailer at the dealership, they have no problem with that. We went and ate breakfast. Our next stop was going to get the truck washed, but the car washes were so busy that we didn't have time.

We did have time to wander through the home improvement show at the Metra. Got some ideas for the bath and kitchen when we do makeovers in a couple years. Entered a raffle to win a bathroom makeover up to $11,000. Didn't win.

Back to the dealership we went to check on things. They were ahead of schedule and would be done around 2:00. Great, we had a meeting with Parks for tae kwon do at 1:00 and didn't have to be at staging for the Patriot Guard until 3:00.

Went to the meeting with Parks, told them we had to leave by 2:30 for a funeral. We got out of there around 2:15, got to the dealership picked up the bike. They were so nice and washed it for us that it was nice and shiny for the mission.

Got all of our stuff on and made our way to the Wal-Mart in the Heights. There were about 50 of us there for the mission. Saw all of our friends. I took a bunch of photos. The normal photographer forgot her camera at home, so she asked me to fill in for her. I sent my photos to the state person and they are supposed to post them on the website. Anyway I did my part.

This was just a memorial service for this young soldier. His funeral was actually in South Carolina where he was stationed at and where his wife is from. He grew up in Billings. Apparently there were some hard feelings between his parents and his wife on where he was going to be buried.

After the mission was over, back to the dealership to load up and head for home. It was 6:00 by the time we left Billings, so was a good thing we trailered the bike, got too dark to ride home. Got home and unloaded the bike off the trailer. Gary had some 2X4's at the house and we used those. Gave just enough clearance for the pipes.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Jennifer's Birthday

Again I am behind. We celebrated Jennifer's birthday on Feb. 28. Hard to believe that she is 22 now.

Nothing special, we took her out to dinner at her choice of restaurant, came home had some ice cream cake. She likes ice cream cakes from Dairy Queen. Mmom was here to help celebrate.

She chose Applebee's, which really wasn't a surprise at all. That is her favorite restaurant and she always orders the chicken fajita rollup. This year she ordered a birthday drink.

Jennifer had a strawberry daiquiri, Mmom and I had perfect margaritas and Gary had a beer. We ate a wonderful meal and then drove home for some birthday cake. It was all good.

I am taking Jennifer out to a movie, but we are waiting until one she wants to see comes on. So far that is still on hold.
Here are photos of her with her birthday drink and her cake. I wanted to get her something with an Irish theme and this was the closest I could come to.